Thanks for the info for everybody who I talked to in PM, I’ve caught up on everything and talked to people on both sides of this thing.
There’s a pressing question of whether or not certain players are exploiting a bug, and whether or not they will be banned, we’ll have a rollback, etc.
Before I get into specifics, I’d like to remind everybody that we don’t presume guilt here.
We gather info, evaluate it, and come to a conclusion based on evidence. Some of the players here who are presuming guilt on others would themselves be banned in earlier rounds had we been so quick to say “Yep, guilty. Ban.”.
Anyway, @Picklearmy has explained this situation quite well already:
P-Mode in early conflict
The reason this is popping up now is because wars don’t usually happen this early. It’s that simple.
UA may be a reason for these early wars, and if so, then it is doing exactly what I hoped it would by exposing these kinds of problems that need to be fixed for the long term. If we improve P-Mode as a result, then the game will be better for this experience.
I know that’s little solace for those who feel like they’ve been wronged, but IC can only improve by us experiencing and confronting these shortcomings.
So the big question now:
Does this constitute a rule violation?
P-Mode is working how it always has. There is no bug. There was nothing for anybody to report.
@Airwing has since explained everything to me because he wanted to, not because he had to. He could have remained silent on the matter and kept this up his sleeve for future rounds, but he didn’t. I hope that others emulate this approach in the future.
As for intent, I told a few others this:
Remember that deception is a tactic too; your enemy may be manipulating your perception of the circumstances. If a player says “I knew about this” that doesn’t necessarily mean that they did, nor is it illegal for them to lie about it.
In this case, whether or not this was a planned use of P-Mode makes no difference: it would have been legal either way. I only bring this up because a few have asked me about it privately. I am seeing less a situation of intentional exploit and more a situation of controlled perception and playing on an unexpected situation.
What about the rule against loopholes?
Some have cited this rule:
This is a fair point, but the latter half of that rule is key because we can’t anticipate every situation.
We haven’t been confronted with this before so there is no precedent. I have to therefore make a call, and, being that I prefer to foster player freedom I am saying that this type of behavior is something that we actually want to encourage.
Yes, if players do this intentionally it is sneaky, clever, and even dirty. However, it is also creative. It throws back to IC’s heyday when players had to actually think about new strategies instead of just playing “paint by numbers” like we’ve been doing for the last 10 years.
So break the game. Go nuts. Find ways to show how Imperial Conflict sucks because it is imbalanced. That’s the only way we will ever improve anything. We are done with the era of sitting round after round seeing who can best optimize econ for the millionth time.
A comparison to last round.
Fwiw, a loophole happened last round when several players changed their races multiple times after SoR, before I had stated that it was legal to do so. Some of those same players who intentionally exploited this dubious mechanic are now calling for others to be banned when they find themselves on the other side of that coin.
We need to treat these things consistently, and if that SoR exploit was fine last round then P-Mode was fine this round.
Just as we fixed the former, we should now take this as an opportunity to ask how P-Mode can work better. Just because this has been deemed legal doesn’t mean that we can’t ask ourselves how to improve the feature around it.
Take matters into your own hands.
To those players who will be unhappy with this decision: I suggest that you take advantage of the open-ended nature of UA.
Find others who share your scorn for this situation and plan your revenge.
The days of being babysat by Staff are over. You guys now have the freedom to enforce your own rule of the land.